This frowned upon activity is actually great for character building

Shutterstock

Your personality is molded by… Super Mario?

The Nintendo 64 smash hit isn’t likely something you’d attribute to the development of your individual self. Often, the people we surround ourselves with — like family and friends — can dictate the way in which our character is built. Life events also play a big role in character development, but so do video games for more than half of Americans.

Sixty-six percent of Americans said that playing video games as a kid helped mold their current day personality, according to a new survey. Yes, that means that somewhere in many Americans, some piece of their inner identity has been shaped by Yoshi, Pikachu, Lara Croft, Princess Peach, and many others.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll with the World of Warships from Wargaming, polled 2,000 Americans on their relationship with video games and how they’ve impacted their experience during the pandemic. While finding a PS5 or Xbox Series X right now is borderline impossible, the pandemic has basically green lighted time for video games with social distancing mandates in order. A study conducted by Oxford University recently said that two specific games — “Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons — allowed people to feel happier due to the game creating a social experience during the pandemic.

If there ever was a time to justify staring at a virtual world on your TV, it’s during the pandemic but our bond to video games extends much more into the past than the present. Sixty-four percent of participants said that their gaming habits as children carved a path for these virtual characters to be considering part of their family, which shouldn’t come as a surprise conceding seven in 10 respondents said they played video games constantly growing up.

Although current games can sometimes make you feel like you’re living in another world, many respondents said they were nostalgic for older games due to their simplicity. Sixty-six percent of respondents said video games were better in their youth because they were simpler, which some could say about the developments of EA Sports’ “FIFA,” which has introduced new gaming styles nearly annually.

Gaming is productive

While your parents likely scolded you for being glued to the TV during your youth, people who described themselves as “avid gamers” said video games was more than just entertainment. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said gaming is a productive hobby with multiple benefits, like learning something new and problem solving.

Those who grew up playing video games have encouraged their children to play more video games during the pandemic. Sixty-eight percent said their children have been allowed to play more video games while they’ve been in quarantine together, which has made 69% of respondents admit they are thankful for the experience because it’s allowed them to spend more time with their children.

“Kids who grew up playing video games in the 1990s are still playing games today and are now sharing that passion with their kids,” Artur Plociennik, Regional Publishing Director, World of Warships, said in a statement. “We often hear from our players how much they enjoy competing with their child or even their grandparent – which we can see from the survey results.